5 Walking Tours in Kyiv

5 Walking Tours in Kyiv

All historical periods have left traces in the city’s image because many important events took place on its premises from prehistoric times to these days. You can see the imprint of numerous historical eras in the city due to the occurrence of significant events from prehistoric times to the present day. Today, Kyiv stands as a thriving modern city boasting well-developed infrastructure, top-tier hotels, cafes, and restaurants offering exceptional service. It is a good idea to explore the city on walking tours with a qualified tourist guide. Let’s go!

1. Stories and Legends of Old Kyiv

Kyiv, a city with a history dating back to the 5th century AD, offers a unique blend of rich historical heritage and the vibrant energy of modern life. While much of the ancient architecture has vanished, a walking city tour provides an excellent opportunity to immerse into the historical past of Kyiv and Ukraine.
The tour embarks near the Golden Gate, which served as the main entrance to the old city, and proceeds to the St. Sophia Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique 11th-century mosaics and frescoes. Next is the St. Michael Golden-Domed monastery, originally built in the 12th century, destroyed in 1935 by the Soviet regime, and rebuilt in 2000. The monastery captures both historical and modern significance, commemorating such events as the Euromaidan Revolution and the Russian-Ukrainian War. Afterward, we move through the historic heart of the city – Old Kyiv Hill, where Kyiv was founded in the 5th century. Andrew’s descent is one of a few streets with the charm of the old city. Along this route, visitors express admiration for the amazing St. Andrew’s church in Baroque style, admire street art and beautiful panoramic views of the Dnipro River immersing into the positive and captivating urban atmosphere.

2. Andrew’s Descent and Podil

Andrew’s Descent is one of the oldest streets in Kyiv, which retains the antiquity atmosphere in a large, modern, and rapidly developing city. The street is mentioned in medieval chronicles, so during the tour, we will plunge into the fascinating world of history. The street is home to unique architecture, apartment houses, mysticism, witches and ghosts, museums and theaters, paintings, street art, cozy cafes and restaurants, and panoramic views – all packed into one small street only 735 meters long.
The tour begins at St. Andrew’s Church, a pearl of Baroque architecture of the 18th century. Then we head to Starokyivska Hill, the place where Kyiv was founded. Art lovers can loose themselves in the Artists’ Alley, an open-air exhibition. Along the way, we will visit several secret yards.
Podil, or the lower town, is a neighborhood that has been bustling with life since ancient times. Podil used to be a place of trade, fairs, religion, education, traditions of self-government. This is one of the few districts of Kyiv where old architecture and buildings have been preserved, such as the oldest Rye market (10th century), a street dating back to the 12th century, the oldest university (1615), the oldest pharmacy (1728), the oldest residential house (1760), and other. During the tour, we will walk through old streets, visit churches and hidden yards, listen to stories about famous and unknown people, and admire modern street art.

3. Architecture and Parks of Pechersk

Pechersk is a neighborhood where different historical eras and meanings are closely intertwined. It used to be the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity and pilgrimage. The area is home to architecture of different styles such as Old Rus, Ukrainian Baroque, Art Nouveau, Soviet monumental classicism, functionalism, contemporary postmodernism, and eclecticism. A former military fortress and Arsenal plant have been gradually transformed into a modern urban center with restaurants of Ukrainian and European food. Pechersk is also an administrative center of Kyiv where governmental institutions are located, among them the Parliament, the Cabinet of Ministries, and the President’s Office.
The tour begins at the entrance to the Arsenalna metro station, the deepest metro station in the world. Arsenalna Square is a modern urban center created on the site of the old fortress and the Arsenal plant. The next objects are Mariinsky Park, the Lypky governmental area, Askold’s Grave, the Park of Glory, and the Holodomor Victims Memorial. The Church of the Savior is a real architectural gem hidden in a yard. Next, we walk to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery and the Museum of History of Ukraine in World War II.

4. Jewish Places in Kyiv: Babyn Yar

Babyn Yar is a place in Kyiv where mass shootings of Jews and members of the resistance movement against the German Nazis took place during World War II. It is a place of remembrance and testimony to the crimes of the Holocaust, where tens of thousands of people were shot in 1941-43. Nowadays, Babyn Yar is a large memorial complex with monuments from different periods, from Soviet times to the present day. People from all over the world come here to honor the memory of the victims of Nazism.
The tour starts near the Dorohozhychi metro station next to the monument to the executed children. Then we go to see different memorials and photo exhibitions, the Roma kibbutz, the installation “Mirror Field,” and the symbolic synagogue “A Place for Reflection.” The Menorah is the key monument established to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. Subsequently, we finish near the monument of the Soviet-style, built in 1976.

5. Maidan and Khreshchatyk Street

Khreshchatyk is the main street of Kyiv, where the pulse and energy of the modern city passes. Khreshchatyk became the main street of the city in the nineteenth century, and since then, life has been bustling from morning to late evening. Independence Square is the most famous square in Ukraine, as it was here that three revolutions took place that determined the course of Ukraine’s modern history. The city center is always bustling with life, with various official and unofficial events taking place. Historical past and present are harmoniously combined in one place.
The tour starts from the European Square. Then we go to the Glass Bridge, Volodymyrska Hirka Park, St. Alexander’s Church, and Independence Square. We will visit the Museum of the Revolution of Dignity, as well as the Heavenly Hundred Memorial, and pay tribute to the fallen soldiers who gave their lives to Ukraine. Khreshchatyk is the shortest main street in Europe, less than 1.3 km long. We will also visit neighboring streets and neighborhoods. The charm and charm of Gorodetsky Street, Ivan Franko Square, and the Passage will not leave anyone indifferent. The monument to the literary character Panikovsky on Prorizna Street reminds us of the famous movie The Golden Calf. Next on the route are the Kyiv City Administration, the Central Department Store, and the Bessarabian Market. We will also talk about the Jewish quarter, where there is a museum and monument to the writer Sholom Aleichem, and the Central Synagogue.

All tours are individual and last for 3 hours. The price is 45 Euros for each tour for individual tourists (1-9 persons) and 60 Euros for a group of over 10 persons. If you want to book a walking tour of Kyiv, please, write an e-mail to guide.kiev.ukraine@gmail.com or write a message to Instagram @olena.guide.ukraine

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